Sunday, April 28, 2013

Party will decide if Jack would get nomination for CWC bye-election: Kamla

PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar at Piarco Airport Saturday night
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar told reporters Saturday night she is not in a position to say if Jack Warner would win the nomination for the United National Congress (UNC) for the bye-election in the Chaguanas West constituency (CWC).
She explained that her party has a process to deal with such matters and the executive would handle it in the prescribed manner.

Persad-Bissessar was speaking at Piarco International Airport shortly after returning home from a four-day official visit to Canada. She answered questions about politics after she gave an overview of the historic visit.

Read the details of the Canada visit:

Warner resigned from Cabinet last Sunday and the following day he quit as chairman of the UNC. And on Friday he handed his resignation as the CWC MP to House Speaker Wade Mark, noting that his resignation would be effective at midnight Friday. Mark has not yet declared the seat vacant.

At a political meeting the night before the former National Security Minister said he had offered the PM his resignation two weeks ago. He also stated that he remains committed to the PM, his party and the government and that he would like to contest the bye-election as a UNC candidate.

Persad-Bissessar confirmed that she received the resignation before last Sunday and did not accept it. She said at that time there were certain issues raised in a Reuters report that she wanted clarification on before making any decision since everything was based on allegations in media reports.

She reminded reporters that she asked both the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Attorney General to get more information from U.S. authorities. They have not received any such information, she said.

Asked why she decided to accept the resignation when she did, Persad-Bissessar said the the Simmons Concacaf report that came out two days before she accepted Warner's resignation helped her decide. She said she was "surprised" that Warner did not cooperate with the Simmons probe and provide information that he produced later.

She reiterated that Warner was a good MP and she said now that he has more time to attend to personal matters he would likely use it deal with the various allegations against him.  

Warner said on Thursday all the material was available to the investigating team. He said Concacaf officials misled the team by not providing the documents to them. He also said he did not wish to cooperate with the investigation as a protest since FIFA has not paid his pension of US$90,000 a year for the past two years.

On the question of whether certain ministers influenced her decision to accept Warner's resignation as a member of cabinet last Sunday, the PM said that is not so. She noted that Warner voluntarily resigned so it would be an "oxymoron" so say somebody made her do it.

Persad-Bissessar dismissed outright suggestions that others are "controlling" her actions. She suggested that people might feel that way because she is a woman and noted that before Warner resigned people said he controlled her. None of that is true, she stated.

“I want to make it very clear, the only persons that control me are those that belong to the electorate and the citizenry of Trinidad and Tobago, no one else," she declared.  She said she would continue to put God in front and do what is right.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai